1912 Jell-O Advertisement

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Tuesday, July 16, 1912:  I don’t just exactly remember what I really did today.

Jell-O with black raspberries

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I was thinking about what to write, and remembered that a reader commented several weeks ago that many people were getting ice boxes in the early 1900s—and that Jell-O was becoming popular.

I recalled that I had seen an advertisement for Jell-O and flipped through a couple magazines hunting it.

I found this advertisement  in the July, 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

For Summer Appetites

In hot weather when the appetite is just a little off, and there is a peculiar craving for something cool and satisfying, nothing touches the spot like


It is so deliciously cool, so light, so wholesome, so nutritious—so tempting and good every way—that it satisfies the summer appetite as nothing else can.

Fruit of almost any kind can be added, as the housewife chooses, or left out, and in either case the dessert will be delightful.

There is no other dessert worth serving that can be made without cooking, and in hot weather no housewife wants to cook and fuss more than is necessary.

A Jell-O dessert can made in a minute.

Seven delightful flavors: Strawberry, Raspberry, Cherry, Lemon, Orange, Peach, Chocolate.

10 cents a package at all grocers’

The splendid recipe book, “Desserts of the World” illustrated in ten colors and gold, will be sent to all who write us and ask for it.


Le Roy, N.Y, and Bridgeburg, Can.

16 thoughts on “1912 Jell-O Advertisement

  1. Thanks for this great post. You inspired me to look up a little bit more about Jell-O. They first started advertising in the Ladies Home Journal in 1902, so this was definitely in the early days. Can you imagine Chocolate Jell-O? Evidently it wasn’t too popular as it was discontinued in 1927.

      1. We eat chocolate jello today. It was reintroduced in the late 1930’s as instant pudding with other flavores like vanilla and strawberry. The original chocolate was made with milk but did not sell well and was pulled from the market in the late 20’s. I guess that was because the milk didn’t mold as well. That is why you have to make sure you don’t get cooked and instant mixed up in your baking recipes because one is gelatine. So if it calls for instant you better use instant or the recipe will fail. Most people don’t realize this. Just something fun to know.

        1. Thanks for explaining–now that you’ve explained, it makes perfect sense. I hadn’t realized that there is gelatine in instant pudding.

  2. This post brings back great memories of childhood Sunday dinners.
    Mom always made a special jello for Sunday or special dinners. I have some fantastic recipes that I make for Holidays. In our ‘extended’ family (of sons-in-laws, etc.)….there is always a debate over the special jello…is it part of the meal or dessert? I say…either one or both!

      1. In mine, it was part of the meal if it had some carrots in it and was on a piece of iceberg lettuce. If it had that spray from the can whipped cream, it was dessert.

        1. Until you mentioned this, I’d forgotten those old shredded carrot jello salads. I can also remember a shredded cucumber/onion/green pepper jello salad we occasionally had.

  3. Isn’t it fun to have the exact same brand and desert that your gramma enjoyed? Besides Coca Cola, I’m not sure too many brands have survived that long….that’s so fun!

  4. Chocolate jello!?! Hmm…Even jello has evolved with packaging. It’s so easy to buy the little pre-made packages instead of taking a few minutes to make some. My mom had jello molds shaped like bundt pans. When it was setting you could change out the lid to get a design…funny how I remember that she used them at Christmas and other occasions!

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